Q&A on HIPAA.

Author:Callahan, Elizabeth O.
Position:Health Care - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 - Brief Article
 
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What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The first two sets of HIPAA regulations--the Electronic Transactions and the Privacy Regulations--are finalized and the compliance deadlines for small health plans are approaching quickly.

I'm an employer. Will HIPAA affect me?

Yes. If you provide health benefits to your employees, you are responsible for your group health plan's compliance with HIPAA and its regulations.

What is the first step I should take?

Determine whether your group health plan is a "covered entity" under HIPAA. Covered entities are defined as group health plans with more than 50 participants OR plans of any size that use a third-party administrator (TPA). Your plan is most likely a covered entity.

What are the Electronic Transactions Regulations?

They require covered entities to use standardized formats for transactions such as electronically processing claims, checking eligibility and paying premiums. The goal is to eliminate the 400plus formats that the industry is currently using. Oct. 16, 2003, is the compliance deadline for...

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